Advance Auto Parts CEO sees encouraging signs despite  "stubbornly difficult" economy
The CEO of Advance Auto Parts says he expects the national economy to remain "stubbornly difficult," but Darren Jackson says he is also optimistic about the fundamentals that have spurred the growth of the Roanoke-based corporation.
Advance had a disappointing first quarter a year ago, but rebounded to set records in 2011. While the economy continues to be a challenge for consumers, Jackson says there are encouraging signs for the auto parts chain, including more evidence that drivers are keeping their cars longer.
"I don't know about you, but I'm getting older and as I get older I get more aches and pains in terms of life as it goes. Cars work the same way," Jackson said, "so at 10.6 years, there are more needs for that car in terms of parts needs than there were just four years ago," he said.

Jackson spoke with WDBJ7 Tuesday morning, following the company's annual shareholders meeting in Roanoke. Advance will report its first quarter financial results on Thursday morning.